sabato 30 maggio 2015

Feo and Susan Sontag

Feo is one of my four Birman cats. We also call him "little Buddha", not just because he's a little chubby, but because he probably found his peace of mind when he was in the womb. I cannot say he's my favorite one, but I can say that I really envy him his approach to life, in a few words: calm down and take it easy.
Once I was sitting at my desk, reading Susan Sontag's "On photography". Feo wanted some snuggles and he didn't care what I was doing. So he took place on my legs, on his back and asked for a little scratch under the chin with a loud meow.
At some point he wrapped his legs around the book, enjoying a lot the situation. But after a few minutes he started to move his tail and suddenly he grabbed the book with his mouth in order to chop it up.
The incredible thing is that I wanted to do same thing at the same time: chop that book up.
Why? For many reasons. Without going into details, let me just say that I dislike those who make generalization about a single category of people, regardless of whether the category refers to gender, profession, religion, skin color. We have seen in the past what happens when somebody applies generalizations to a part of humanity as a whole.
In the second place, I dislike those who feel superior to others and feel free to speculate on others' "Being", as if they knew every single man and woman one by one, which is not possible because there are 7 billion people in the world.
Third, I dislike those who write about something that they don't know, because the final result can only be superficial.
Voyeurs, predators, promoters of nostalgia, super tourists, sexually perversed people, fabricators of lies, those who volunteer seek out the pain of others, are just some of the phrases and epithets used by Sontag to describe "photographers" or a part of them. Nothing could be more questionable. But maybe this was the aim of the book: to be questionable. I don't' know, but it doesn't matter. Which matters is that "On photography" is considered one of the most highly regarded books of its kind, while is plenty of prejudices and stereotypes, the world could well do without.
By the way, if you haven't' read the book yet and you want to, don't forget Nietzsche's sentence, quoted by the american photographer Paul Strand: "I have just read Schopenhauer, now I have to get rid of him".

I think Feo read my mind and understood pretty well all my reasons. This is the reason why he's today winner.
That's all.

Click here if you want to know something more about the section "And the winner is"

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